Death Spiral? Hope is on the Horizon!

It is easy to get depressed when your business metrics look worse and worse.

Wall Street wants you to show growth and when you measure that as increases in traditional sales metrics, you can lose hope.

This was the case as Thomas Edison’s electric lamp replaced natural gas in home

and street lighting.  The gas industry decided that investing in Edison’s was better than simply sitting on the sidelines moping about bad numbers.  They got a wonderful outcome of course when Edison had to generate the electricity for those lamps as a fuel for that instead of the lamps themselves.

We are on a stunningly parallel course with the electricity industry today.  You would have to be living under a rock not to see how Tesla has changed the Electric Vehicle landscape despite his critics.  And, when you read articles like the one shown here, the future is clear … read: Light Bulbs and Electric Cars: A Time for Change. 

The key question for electric utilities today is the role they are going to play.  Once again, remember the warning of Jim Rogers, past CEO of Duke Power.  “If you aren’t at the table, you are on the menu!”

Got Power?

The brutal winter storms in the Northeast are driving interest in solar, batteries, and emergency generators.  Storm restorations are costing the regional electric utilities millions of dollars, and instead of customers thanking them for their tireless and dangerous work, they are seeking alternatives.

Today’s low cost money and low interest rates has created a formidable market push for systems that do not yield much in the way of financial returns, but do provide peace of mind and power when no one else has it.

Times are changing, but once again, where are the power or the natural gas companies?  Can’t they see the obvious opportunity here?  Offer solutions.  As I mentioned in an earlier blog, “If you are not  at the table, you will be on the menu.”

Read Maine Public’s article “As Storms Batter the Electric Grid More Mainers are Considering Cutting the Cable” 

Olympic Fallout

Courtesy Wall Street Journal

If we were asked how the term “dog meat” is used in this country, most people would say something like: “do the wrong thing and you are dog meat” implying you are effectively a dead person … something like the phrase “game over!”

Since dogs are not an acceptable food source in the US, most people do not think you are referring to the animal as a source of food here.  Well, in South Korea, the opposite is true.  Watch the video here. 

We have always assumed that cultural change is slow … typically requiring generations to come and go.  Well, we may see quite the opposite in South Korea as a result of their hosting the Olympics.  Public outrage around the world is intense.

So, who would have thought that graciously hosting a world-wide event could bring such rapid and vapid condemnation?  Once again, social media takes the news cycle and amplifies voices.

Just think of what might have happened if these forces were at work back in the days when the prisoners in Maine were fed lobsters and thought they were being poisoned.  At the time, they did not think you could eat lobster.  In this country, lobster was then considered useful only as fertilizer or fish bait, and only in the last 100 years has it become an expensive and highly sought-after delicacy.